Direct Therapeutic Nurture
The Sense of Smell in Human Growth
The terrible and complicating truth about sexual touch is that in addition to triggering a re-living of childhood trauma, it may ignite the mating processes of the brain. This can give rise to powerful expectations of love, feelings of abandonment, jealousy, rage, and the whole gamut of responses to which "love" is prey. In turn, these feelings can overwhelm the damaged ego container of the client and, indeed, of the therapist, and spill over into the therapy with disastrous results.
As if these problems weren't enough, the defensive forces of the brain may seize upon the therapist as the source of pain, thereby avoiding the frightening early primal work. As I say elsewhere, it is easier to destroy the therapist than it is to face our early molestation.
And yet, Masters and Johnson, and other sexual researchers, have used direct sexual techniques and surrogate partners, in an ever-widening area of innovation. My treatment of the patient who could only re-live her childhood sexual abuse by touching me, stands in my mind as ethical therapy.
But therapists must be on guard as to whether a request for sexual touch is coming from impulses which are unhealthy, as opposed to a Level Four body necessity which is searching for congruence to enable a therapeutic re-living.
Even with this understanding I do not feel that I could ever risk using sexual touch again. Instead, I have turned to the use of therapeutic sexual models. For example, a long hard object under a blanket has caused one of my clients to effectively re-live an early molestation.
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